Questions You Need to Ask Your Plumber
How to Make Sure You Are Hiring the Right Plumber for the Job!
Hiring a plumber can be an intimidating task. It’s hard to find a plumbing contractor you can trust, who will do quality work at a reasonable price. Narrowing down the list of plumbers in your local area is sure to take some time, but the following checklist will help you make that all-important final decision before you contract someone to work on your home’s plumbing.
Questions about the Plumber:
- How long have you been a plumber? While it’s nice to give “the new guy” a chance, your kitchen or bathroom may not be an appropriate place to do it. If experience is important to you, ask this question first. Be suspicious of anyone working alone who’s been doing plumbing work less than three years.
- How did you receive your professional plumbing training? Most plumbers learn their trade through formal schooling or through an apprenticeship with an established professional. They also receive on-going training to keep their plumbing skills sharp and learn new plumbing techniques and technologies. If you can find a plumber who is certified through a formal program such as NATE, even better.
- Do you belong to any professional organizations? There are several professional plumbing organizations and associations. A plumber who is a member in any of these is likely to be bound by a code of ethics that may help protect you in case something goes wrong with your project.
- Are you licensed and registered? This is another way to protect yourself from unscrupulous plumbing contractors. Never hire a plumber or any other home improvement professional that cannot produce a state license and certificate of registration.
- Are you insured? It is essential that any plumber you ask into your home to perform work carried adequate insurance. Hiring an uninsured plumber is like driving a car without automobile insurance.
- Can you give me a list of references? Good plumbers rely on past clients to spread the word about their business; bad plumbers consider references a major liability. Always ask for references and end the interview if the plumber can’t or won’t give you at least a few names and phone numbers. Make sure you follow up, too.
Questions About the Plumber’s Work:
- Will you give me a written warranty? Reliable plumbers should have no problem backing up their work with a warranty. And don’t take your plumber’s word—even if he seems like a great guy, get the guarantee in writing.
- Will you need a permit? Many bath and plumbing projects require local permits, which can be obtained from your county or municipal offices. Your plumber should be able to answer this question quickly or leave you with the impression that he knows how to go about obtaining the necessary permissions. If you get the sense that the plumber is very unsure or doesn’t understand what you’re asking, show him the door.
- How long will this project take? An experienced plumber has seen it all before and should be able to give you a reasonable estimate of how long it will take to complete your project. If he’s vague or tells you there’s no way to know how long the job will take, keep looking.